How to play golf in the rain

Rain. It’s very British, and very unavoidable. When it comes to golf, wet conditions can sometimes throw you off course - but if you’re a committed all-weather golfer, we salute you. The question is - can you play golf in the rain, and actually enjoy the game? 

Here, we share how rain affects the game, useful tips for playing at your best in wet conditions, and the golf equipment to make sure no amount of British weather can dampen your golfing spirit.

Can you play golf in the rain?

The short answer is yes, you can still play your rounds in the rain. Knowing how to play golf in wet conditions requires a little more research compared to sunny days on the fairway, but with the right golf accessories and some forward planning, you can swing in style (even when it showers).

Can you play golf after it rains?

After the storm comes calm on the course. You can totally play golf post-rainfall, in fact it can be a refreshing experience. Lush, vibrant greens, moisture in the air, and views good enough to be a watercolour painting.

When is it too wet to play golf?

There’s no official rule on this, but typically golf courses won’t close unless there’s so much rain that it causes standing water on the golf course. As well as the fact it’s probably too wet to play, this also protects the course from further damage. If lightning is present, tees will almost always be called off to avoid potential injuries to patrons - metallic golf clubs conduct electricity which could be dangerous.

How to play golf in the rain

The question is not simply how to play golf in the rain, but how to play good golf in the rain. Here, we share our most valuable tips to ensure you prepare and play like a pro: 

Be prepared

Always check the weather forecast ahead of time, and make sure you have the right waterproof clothing and equipment in case of rain. This includes:

  • A rain jacket, pants, hat, and rain gloves to stay warm and dry. 
  • Extra towels to dry off your golf balls, clubs, and hands can also be a godsend - if your grips are too wet, your swing will be affected. 
  • Don’t forget some extra golf balls. A brighter golf ball, such as a neon yellow option, can be easier to spot in murkier conditions - golf balls can often plug in the rough and be lost.
  • You may also wish to pack some spare scorecards, in case your originals get soggy. Consider a scorecard holder to keep things extra dry.
  • A lightweight, waterproof golf bag, which we’ll discuss in further detail below.

Know how to hit a golf ball in wet conditions

Does a wet golf ball spin more? And exactly how does rain affect golf ball distance? Knowing the science can help control the spin and trajectory of your ball, ultimately improving your game. It all comes down to surface friction - if a golf ball comes into contact with wet grass or a wet clubface (especially a wedge or short iron), the increased friction allows the club’s grooves to grip the ball better, creating more spin. If water sticks to the ball’s surface, this also creates a thin film which allows the ball to spin through the air more consistently. There are a few techniques that can help control your spin:

  • Choose a soft golf ball. The softer, the spinnier - offering you more control and better performing in soggy situations. TaylorMade Soft Response Golf Balls are the brand’s softest yet, designed to decrease drag and optimise lift for more efficient aerodynamics.
  • Secure your grip. Dry your hands and grips before each shot to maintain a steady shot - wet-weather gloves can work great for this.
  • Move the ball back slightly. Your ball’s position is important, particularly in wetter weather. Moving it back slightly (and teeing it higher) can encourage a more downward strike - no one wants to hit the damp grass before the ball.
  • Bring your backswing in. Shortening your backswing can help you stay in control, lowering your chances of hitting incorrectly (or missing entirely).
  • Use a higher club. Wet conditions cause golf balls to travel shorter distances. Picking a club with optimal launch and forgiveness, such as TaylorMade’s P790 Golf Irons can help you swing like a pro come rain or shine.
  • Make shallower divots. It’s easy to dig too deep when the earth is soft, so be mindful of your divots.

Know how to keep your golf equipment dry

As well as staying dry and warm yourself, it’s important to ensure your equipment stays as dry as possible. You probably can’t keep raindrops from hitting every single item (that’s what your spare towels are for) but there are certainly accessories that can help keep them out of the thick of it.

Firstly, invest in a high-quality waterproof golf bag to protect your clubs from the elements. You may be wondering, are golf bags waterproof by default anyway? So, are waterproof golf bags worth it? And the answer is that not all golf bags are. All of our golf bags are available in fully waterproof options, whether you want a cart bag such as the Motocaddy Dry Series Waterproof Golf Cart Bag, or a handy stand bag such as the Big Max Golf Dri Lite 7 Water Resistant Stand Bag.

Secondly, you may already have an umbrella for golfing in the sun. But are golf umbrellas good for rain too? Thankfully, yes, you can use a golf umbrella in the rain. With wider spans, they provide ample coverage to keep you and your equipment drier for longer. Our golfing umbrellas are perfect for winning against the elements, with lightweight shafts, tight canopies, and clever venting systems for adapting to strong winds.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, our wide range of top-quality golfing gear can take you through all the seasons in style. Visit our stores in person, or browse our leading brands in stock.